Augusta Regional bringing in tourists and jobs for the Masters

By: Ashley Jeffery Email
By: Ashley Jeffery Email

News 12 @ 11 o'clock -- March 25, 2009

AUGUSTA, GA --- It's a planning process that's been in the works since November, getting the Augusta Regional Airport ready for Master's week.

"During master's, we have so many airplanes coming in that what we have to do is get teams. It's a team concept,"said Bill Thompson, Aviation Services Supervisor for Augusta Regional.

A concept that takes more than just the regular staff to handle. Bill says the number of general aviation employees will go from 21 to 80, just for the Masters.

"We're giving some jobs and overtime for the regular people. So they like that because they get overtime and the temps get hired," said Thompson.

Thompson says they expect to see around five chartered flights which is the norm for Master's season, but what the airport wasn't expecting was 25 Boeing 757's. That's 20 more than they saw in 2008. That's a 500 percent increase.

"The people look at them and they smile. They take up a lot of ramp, bring in a lot of passengers and take good fuel sales,"said Thompson.

While officials here at the airport expect to see more people coming in for the Masters, one place they don't expect to see them is renting cars.

"The requests and reservations are down. I think it's due to the economy and Easter. Easter's always been quieter than rest of the week, but with the economy, I think it's going to be quiet this year."

And while the airport may expect to see car rentals down, they say they'll still have the boost in employment.

"It's a fun week, it's a good week. Everybody's working 10-12 hours a day and you get tired by the end of the week but it's fun,"said Thompson.

Thompson says they'll be seeing 757's coming in from New York, Philadelphia and Atlanta.

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  • by Laurie Location: Evans, GA on Apr 1, 2009 at 08:59 AM
    I fully understand the financial impact the Masters has on the local area but it's frustrating to have to listen and watch the news people talk about how beautiful it is when the local citizens don't get a chance to go despite supporting Augusta year round. I've put in for the lottery for 5 years in a row and not been picked yet. There should be some way for the locals to have a chance to see what only the rich tourists get an opportunity to see. This is our community. I appreciate the financial impact of the masters but I'd appreciate it more if the Masters and Augusta National showed some appreciation for locals and had a better distribution for those ellusive tickets.
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